HC Deb 20 December 1954 vol 535 cc2407-8
7. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Attorney-General if he will make a statement about the work of the Statute Law Committee since his predecessor's statement of 14th December, 1953.

The Solicitor-General

As the answer asked for is necessarily rather long, I propose, with the permission of the hon. Member, to have a statement circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the statement: I informed the House in my statement on 14th December last year of our intention to begin the big task of consolidating the statute law as to highways. Good progress has been made on that task. Preparation of the necessary Bill has made big demands on the services available but it has been possible to undertake work on four Bills which have been prepared and passed, namely those relating to Pharmacy, the Post Office Savings Bank, Trustee Savings Banks and Summary Jurisdiction (Scotland), and on Bills now in preparation relating to burials and cremation and to sexual offences. Work was done on a Bill for consolidating the Medical Acts, and it was hoped to secure its passage during the last session, but with the principal Act nearly a hundred years old difficulty has been encountered in expressing the statute law in terms appropriate to modern practice. Preparation of a Bill to consolidate the Food and Drugs Act was promised in debate on the amending Bill recently passed, and is now in hand. Arrangements for Bills on other subjects of smaller compass have been made and will be pursued as soon as opportunity occurs. The principal statutory publications, namely the Index to the Statutes, the Chronological Table and the Guide to Government Orders, will appear in April, earlier than in previous years. It is expected that the other statutory publications will also be issued earlier than last year.